What city lies at the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers?
Grand Junction (State of Colorado, 2015)

Who was the American explorer who compared the western plains to the sandy deserts of Africa?
Zebulon Pike (Vanderschuere, n.d.)

What is the largest reservoir in Colorado?
Blue Mesa (CRWD, n.d.)

What river in Colorado used to be called the Grand River?
The Colorado River (American Rivers, 2017)

What is the second-largest reservoir in Colorado?
Lake Granby (Northern Water, n.d.)

1 acre-foot = 326,000 gallons of water = water supply for 4 people for 1 year = enough water to cover Coors Field in a foot of water
(State of Colorado, 2015).

Denver has an average annual snowfall of 57.3 inches. The snowiest season on record occurred in 1908-1909, with 118.7 inches of snow (NWS, 2018).

The maximum 24-hour snowfall in the United States is 75.8 inches at Silver Lake in the mountains west of Boulder. The storm occurred on April 14-15, 1921.

Once evaporated, a water molecule spends ten days in the air.

The most acidic snow in the Rocky Mountains falls in northern Colorado in and near the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.

Fresh, uncompacted snow is usually 90-95 percent trapped air.

Rime is the ice that forms when supercooled water droplets freeze on contact with an object.

Graupel is snowflakes that have become small rounded pellets (usually two to five millimeters in diameter). It is sometimes mistaken for hail.

Each year, 15 million raindrops strike each square foot of land in the Denver area. Each raindrop that hits the ground dislodges soil particles. These soil particles (sediment) contribute to water pollution.

In May 1935, 10 miles south of Kiowa, 24 inches of rain fell in six hours.

The average humidity for Colorado, measured at noon, is 38 percent.

Avalanches killed 914 people in the United States between 1900 and 1995.

July 31 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Big Thompson Flood. The worst natural disaster in Colorado history, the flood claimed 145 lives.

Anglers at the turn-of-the-century used mice, birds, and small rabbits as bait for the now-endangered Colorado squawfish!

The Platte River, whose name means “flat,” was named by early French trappers and explorers. The

Native Americans in the region called it Nibraskier, a similar word for “flat.”

In May 1935, 10 miles south of Kiowa, 24 inches of rain fell in six hours.

From 1820 to 1846, the boundary of the United States with Mexico was the Arkansas River.

The San Luis People’s Ditch, in operation since its construction in 1852, is the oldest irrigation system in continuous use in Colorado. The ditch is located at 8,000 feet in elevation and is supplied with water by Culebra Creek. Originally, the land adjacent to the ditch was divided into strips approximately 100 yards wide and 16 to 20 miles long. This allowed settlers to have irrigated farmland near the ditch and also have access to range and timber land. Today, the ditch is four miles long and irrigates 1,600 acres of farmland.

Riparian habitat makes up less than three percent of the land in Colorado, but is used by over 90 percent of the wildlife in the state.

87 percent of the water leaving Colorado flows out of the Colorado River Basin toward the Pacific Ocean. The remaining 13 percent of the water leaving Colorado flows out of the Missouri, Arkansas, and Rio Grande river basins toward the Atlantic Ocean.

The hottest spring water in the state (82 degrees Celsius, 180 degrees Fahrenheit) is found in Hortense Hot Springs in Chaffee County. The largest hot spring in Colorado is Big Spring in Glenwood Springs with a maximum discharge greater than 2,200 gallons per minute.

Grand Lake is 265 feet deep – the deepest natural lake in Colorado.

89 percent of Colorado’s naturally occurring lakes are found at altitudes above 9,000 feet.

There are more than 9,000 miles of streams and 2,000 lakes and reservoirs open to fishing in Colorado.

A dry wash or ephemeral stream flows during and for short times after rain or snowmelt. Other names for a dry wash include: draw, gully, swale, arroyo, and gulch.

South Platte water is used in the following ways: 10 percent for city and industrial use, 65 percent for irrigation, and three percent for reservoir evaporation. Twenty-two percent leaves the state.

In Colorado’s peatlands or “fens,” peat forms at an average rate of eight inches every 1,000 years.

Colorado contains 13 different streams named Clear Creek.

Over 1,300 miles of streams in Colorado are impacted by metals as a result of acid mine drainage.

Four quarts of oil can cause an eight-acre oil slick if spilled or dumped down a storm sewer!

In the United States, approximately 500,000 tons of pollutants pour into lakes and rivers each day.

Over 1,300 miles of streams in Colorado are impacted by metals as a result of acid mine drainage.

Nationwide, about 11 percent of pollution in rivers comes from storm sewers and urban runoff.

Natural hot springs contribute 500,000 tons of dissolved solids (15 percent of the total salinity) to streams in the Upper Colorado River Basin each year.

Ozone gas is the only known disinfectant that works against the cryptosporidium parasite in drinking water.

Producing a typical lunch – hamburger, French fries, and a soft drink – uses 1500 gallons of water. This includes the water needed to raise the potatoes, the grain for the bun and the grain needed to feed the cattle, and the production of the soda.

There are more than 9,000 miles of streams and 2,000 lakes and reservoirs open to fishing in Colorado.

Forty-eight million people in the United States receive their drinking water from private or household wells.

Wash your car in the car wash rather than in your driveway. Car washes are connected to water treatment systems that can handle the oil and other contaminants that rinse off of your car. If you wash your car in the driveway, these chemicals run into storm sewers which may discharge directly into a stream. Storm sewers are not equipped with the treatment facilities to handle these pollutants.

From March 26 through April 7, 1996, the Bureau of Reclamation released water at rates of up to 45,000 cubic feet per second from the Glen Canyon Dam. The controlled flood was created in an effort to restore beaches and habitat in the Grand Canyon.

The natural rotation of the Earth has been altered slightly by the 10 trillion tons of water stored in reservoirs over the past 40 years, according to NASA.

Wolford Reservoir, seven miles north of Kremmling, opened to the public in 1996. The 5 1/2 mile long reservoir covers 1,440 acres, has a capacity of 56,000 acre-feet, and cost $42 million to build.

Water in Colorado must be diverted for a purpose and used beneficially. Beneficial use is the use of a reasonable amount of water necessary to accomplish the purpose of the appropriation, without waste. Some common types of beneficial use are: domestic, irrigation, municipal, wildlife, recreation, and mining.

An augmentation plan is a way for junior appropriators to obtain water supplies through terms and conditions approved by a water court that protects senior water rights from the depletions caused by the new diversions. Typically will involve storing junior water when in priority and releasing that water when a call comes on, purchasing stored waters from federal entities or others to release when a river call comes on, or purchasing senior irrigation water rights and changing the use of those rights to offset the new user’s injury to the stream. These plans can be very complex and it is suggested that an engineering consultant be hired to allow for proper consideration of all hydrologic and water right factors.

American Rivers. (2017). Colorado River. Rivers of the U.S.

Colorado River Water Conservation District [CRWD]. (n.d.). Water Management. Gunnison River Basin.

National Weather Service. (2018). Denver’s Winter/Cold Season Statistics. Denver Area Snow Statistics.

Northern Water. (n.d.). Lake Granby. Water Projects.

State of Colorado. (2015). Colorado’s Water Plan.

Vanderschuere, Wayne. (n.d.). Colorado & Water Facts [PPT Presentation].